Education SIG

ASBMB Education Special Interest Group


The Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the ASBMB was set up to promote teaching, learning, research and its dissemination in Biochemistry Education. Specifically, our focus is to:

  • Explore opportunities that advance biochemistry education, such as sharing ideas for the design and development of innovative practical classes as well as the design of authentic and sustainable assessments
  • Support early career academics in biochemistry teaching and learning
  • Foster research collaborations in the scholarship of teaching and learning in biochemistry
  • Build a network of educators and researchers who are passionate about advancing biochemistry education


Chair: Dr Nirma Samarawickrema
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Monash University

Deputy Chair: Associate Professor Tracey Kuit
School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience
University of Wollongong

Dr Matthew Clemson
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
University of Sydney

Associate Professor Maurizio Costabile
Clinical and Health Sciences Academic Unit
University of South Australia

Dr Amber Willems-Jones
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology
University of Melbourne


The ASBMB Education Symposium ‘Sharing Practice: A Focus on Assessment and Academic Integrity’ was held on 28 September 2021. The Education Symposium provided a platform for biochemistry and molecular biology educators and students to share their insights and experiences to recognise good practice in assessments and to transform the student learning experience as we move forward.

ASBMB Education Symposium 2021 Abstract Booklet (PDF)


Welcome and Introductions
Nirma Samarawickrema
Roger Daly
Jacqueline Matthews, ASBMB President

Keynote Address #1
Cheating and online learning – Phillip Dawson (MP4 including Welcome and Introductions)

Session 1
Achieving academic integrity (MP4)
Chair: Maurizio Costabile
Avoid a collision with collusion: a course-specific (Cell Biology) module to develop first-year student knowledge of academic integrity – Ann Parkinson
Considerations for online proctored and open-book exams – student and staff perspectives – Matthew Clemson
What used to be academic misconduct is now authentic work-ready assessment – Charles Sevigny

Keynote Address #2
Shifts in student behaviours during COVID-19: impacts of social interaction on academic integrity – Ann Rogerson (MP4)

Session 2: The student perspective
Panel discussion by three undergraduate students relating their perspectives on assessment and academic integrity (MP4)
Chairs: Tracey Kuit and Amber Willems-Jones

Session 3: Agile assessment: enhancing academic skills and academic integrity

Concurrent A (MP4)
Chair: Maurizio Costabile
Individualized online assessments to mitigate cheating – Mano Manoharan
How to conduct group assessments effectively in fully online courses – Nirmani Wijenayake
An individualised peptide assignment for enhanced learning and academic integrity in first-year biochemistry – Christopher Love
Using peer review to support molecular biology student’s reflection on employability skill development, on a large scale – Tracey Kuit

Concurrent B (MP4)
Chair: Amber Willems-Jones
Assessment design as a pandemic response: authenticity, integrity and sustainability of online assessment of biochemistry – Jo-Anne Chuck
On the fly: a rubric balancing the need for speed and provision of feedback – the oral presentation – Alyssa Van Dreumel
Can the problems of online practicals be overcome? Using software to build student troubleshooting and interpretation skills – Jake Chen
Improving academic skills and academic achievement in a diverse student cohort – Lois Balmer


Wrap Up – Nirma Samarawickrema and Tracey Kuit (MP4)


The ASBMB Education Symposium ‘Teaching Remotely: Sharing Practice’ was held on 29 September 2020. The Education Symposium provided national and international participants a platform to share their insights and experiences, innovations and good practice to transform the student learning experience as we move forward.

COVID-19 was the thunderbolt that hit our universities in 2020 and forced educators into remote teaching. Biochemistry educators, like other educators worldwide, scrambled behind the scenes, urgently transforming their teaching for online delivery while ensuring continuity, quality and integrity. This unexpected and rapid transition to online remote learning resulted in the reinvention of much of our teaching and learning, and the adoption of a wealth of strategies and novel practices to engage students in workshops, tutorials, practical classes and assessment.

ASBMB Education Symposium 2020 Abstract Booklet (PDF)


Keynote Address

Online is the new normal: teaching as we work – Elizabeth Johnson (MP4)

Session 1: Sharing Practice – short form presentations

Concurrent A (MP4)
Chair: Matthew Clemson
Motivating deep learning of Biochemistry through teacher-led and student-led case-based workshops – Katherine Fernandez
Utilizing an online game-based platform in remote teaching: Medical students’ perception – Janarthani Lohitharajah
Designing for flexibility – keeping the research element alive in an ALURE practical taught in two different delivery modes – Ulrike Kappler
Transforming teaching of undergraduate Pathology practical classes: going online – Sophie Paquet-Fifield

Concurrent B (MP4)
Chair: Amber Willems-Jones
Biochemistry coupled with research and writing skills in a student-led, fully-online unit – Garth Maker
Digital portfolios for enhanced online learning in first-year Biochemistry – Christopher Love
Developing evaluative judgement in an online peer learning community – Susan Howitt
The novel use of a ‘student ambassador team’ to promote real-time biochemistry course feedback in an online learning environment – Anne Galea

Session 2: The Student Perspective

Panel discussion by two undergraduate students (MP4)
Chairs: Tracey Kuit and Amber Willems-Jones

Session 3: Sharing Practice – extended presentations

Concurrent A (MP4)
Chair: Maurizio Costabile
3D student guided tours of proteins online: a sweet spot in creative and discerning assessment – Gareth Denyer
Developing strategies for teaching the principles and analysis of RNA-sequencing to undergraduate Biomedical Science students – Daniel Czech
Generation of unique datasets to complement on-line practicals and build student experimental design and troubleshooting skills – Gareth Denyer

Concurrent B (MP4)
Chair: Tracey Kuit
Insights and opportunities emerging from online exams – Matthew Clemson
Creating interactive online biochemistry laboratories using H5P – Kathryn Jones
The guiding hand via Zoom – pivoting a face-to-face metabolomics computer practical to an equivalent online experience – Saw Hoon Lim


Wrap Up – Tracey Kuit (MP4)